Hearing and speech month

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You probably know that May is Derby month, but did you know that May is also better hearing and speech month?

According to Kentucky's Education Cabinet, about 28 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss and one-third of them can attribute their hearing loss to noise. Contrary to popular belief, people of all ages can develop a hearing loss without even knowing.

Linda Adams thought she may have hearing problems.

"I knew when I would answer something. They would ask me a question, but I would think they made a statement. With their facial expressions to what I had just said (made me) think its time," Adams said.

So after years of putting it off, Adams finally had her ears examined and found out she needed hearing aides. While she was excited about hearing better, she's wasn't so thrilled about the look.

"I think that was a fear that everyone would notice them but no one has."

Linda also said her new hearing aides have opened a new world to her and her family. Hearing Instrument Specialist David Kimbel said Linda is not alone.

"Of the 28 to 30 million that have a hearing loss, only one out of five that can be helped with hearing aid actually wear them," Kimbel said.

A lot of people probably remember having a hearing test when they were a child, but it is recommended to get one every year. Kimbel said yearly tests ensure preventing a greater hearing loss in the long run.

According to Kimbel, exposure to loud sounds, even medications and sometimes as age tend to cause hearing loss, so it can be a number of different things.

Kimbel also said protecting your ears, even while doing simple things like mowing the lawn can make a big difference. Now Adams encourages everyone to get their ears checked, because she said you don't realize how much you're missing out on - especially if you don't know have a problem.

"I think people around me enjoy me more because I can hear what they are saying and they know that," Adams said.

Kimbel said a lot of times the last person to know their suffering from hearing loss is the person that actually has it.